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Archive for November, 2009

ASA Member Track National Champion Got More than What He Expected

Monday, November 30th, 2009

ASA Championship BannerDAYTONA BEACH, FL – Tommy Cloce, 2009 Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil ASA Member Track National Champion, is back home in upstate New York after a busy three days in the Carolina’s. He had a busy three days that included a tryout with Joe Gibbs Racing.

The whole experience was more than what he expected, “I would say a lot more,” Cloce exclaimed. “These cars in the past really haven’t impressed me at times that I have driven them in the past and today really changed my mind. They went in the corner, they cut to the bottom and they came off the corner. I am really, really pleased for the opportunity to do this and looking forward to telling everybody back home about it.”

The experience started on Monday, November 23 as he left his home in Potsdam, NY at 2 a.m. to catch his early flight, arriving in Charlotte at 11 a.m. There he met up with Kevin Ramsell, ASA’s Director of Public Relations and host for his three-day adventure. The two went right from the airport to Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide Operations in Huntersville, NC where Cloce met with Ed Fennell of Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil. Fennell presented Cloce with a Joe Gibbs Racing gift package and then took him in the shop where he met with Mike Sibley, Crew Chief of Joe Gibbs Racing Camping World East cars, where he got fitted in his car for Tuesday’s test. After the fitting, Fennell then gave Cloce a tour of the Nationwide Operations. From there he went over to Joe Gibbs Racing Sprint Cup shop and got an up-close tour. After his visit, he traveled to Dillon, SC where he got plenty of rest for his test on Tuesday at Dillon Motor Speedway, an ASA Member Track. Cloce arrived at the track on Tuesday morning under cloudy skies and temps in the 50′s. Ron Barfield, owner of Dillon Motor Speedway and his staff did everything they could to get the track dried as quickly as possible.

It was around 2:30 p.m. when Matt DiBenedetto, Joe Gibbs Racing Camping World East Driver, took the car out on the 4/10-mile track to shake it down. After two runs, he turned the wheel over to Cloce. Cloce quickly got comfortable in the car and after his first run he came back in the pits laughing and telling crew chief Mike Sibley that it is so awesome to drive a car that turned the way it did. After each run, Cloce and Sibley would talk about how the car felt and discuss what changes should be made to the car. In his final run of the day, his lap times were very close to the same lap times DiBenedetto ran earlier.

“He did a really good job,” Sibley said. “We got off to a really slow start with the weather and everything. We had our guy (Matt DiBenedetto) get in and just make sure that everything was kosher with it, which we like do to. When he got in, we told him to ease into it. He did a good job and we really appreciate him coming out and doing everything, we had a lot of fun.”

“It was a fun day, it really was unbelievable,” Cloce said at the end of his test session. “I told the guys that from now on when I watch any Joe Gibbs car on television I will know why they are fast. The car went into the corner, very predictable, turned and had great forward bite coming off. Mike Sibley, the crew chief for their Camping World East team, was incredible. Everything I told them they went and fixed the car in every way. They went through and helped me out a lot. They are a quality, quality race team. It was really a dream come true.”

You can watch video of his test at: Click HereVideo Clip. After his test, Cloce returned to the Concord area where he was treated to a night at the Embassy Suites across from Lowe’s Motor Speedway. On Wednesday morning, Cloce visited Speed 51′s office where they interviewed him about his tryout with Joe Gibbs Racing. (You can view the video at: Click Here Interview clip. From there, Cloce got a surprise as he was taken over to Hendrick Motorsports for a personal tour by Dale Poolery, a mechanic on the 24/48 team. He was given a tour of both the 24/48 and 5/88 shops. After a quick lunch it was back over to Joe Gibbs Racing where he got to meet and visit with JD Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing. Gibbs surprised Tommy with a 2009 Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil ASA Member Track National Champion leather jacket. The two sat and visited for about 45 minutes. Gibbs asked Cloce about his career, which tracks he raced at and about his family. Come to find out that the two had many things in common when it came down to their racing careers and families. The visit with JD Gibbs concluded his three-day visit as his next stop was back to the airport and returning home in time to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends.

“I would like to thank Dennis Huth and his staff at ASA for this opportunity,” Cloce said. “It was a lot more than I expected and its going to be something I will remember for the rest of my life.” “The one thing Tommy kept saying throughout the three days was that everything he did was more than what he expected,” Ramsell said. “He came down with a certain expectation and he was totally blown away with what he saw, what he did in the test at Dillon Motor Speedway, and with his visit with JD Gibbs. He had an ear-to-ear smile across his face all three days. It was a pleasure to a local competitor like Tommy get this special opportunity.”

A special thanks goes to: JD Gibbs, Ed Fennell, Lake Speed, and the entire Joe Gibbs Racing staff; Ron Barfield and his staff at Dillon Motor Speedway; Dale Poolery at Hendrick Motorsports; and Jason Stix Buckley and Elgin Traylor at Speed 51. Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil, sponsor of the American Speed Association National Short Track National Championship, is the same oil developed and used by Joe Gibbs Racing. The team sells the oil so racers across the country can have access to the latest technology in racing lubricants.

Joe Gibbs Racing is one of the premier organizations in NASCAR, currently fielding three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams and a driver development program. Based in Huntersville, N.C., and owned by Joe Gibbs – a three-time Super Bowl winner as head coach of the Washington Redskins and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame – JGR has competed in NASCAR since 1992, winning three Cup Series championships and more than 80 NASCAR races, including three Brickyard 400s and the 1993 Daytona 500. The American Speed Association Short Track National Championship is another step by the industry leader in creating new and innovative programs. This follows the recent announcement about extending the insurance coverage for ASA members traveling to, from, and during an ASA-sanctioned event. For updated ASA National Points, just click on the “Points” link at www.asa-racing.com.

ASA members in good standing are eligible for a $500,000 Excess Medical Benefit as well as a $20,000 Accidental Death and Dismemberment Benefit. Coverage for the member begins while traveling to a location promoting an ASA-sanctioned event and continues until arrival home again. The American Speed Association, in conjunction with WSIB Motorsports Insurance, is the only sanctioning body to offer insurance coverage which extends beyond the boundary of the racetrack itself (complete details are available online at www.ASA-Racing.com).

The ASA Member Track program is comprised of more than 35 short tracks around the United States, as well as a variety of regional and national touring series. For more information, call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to info@asa-racing.com.

For news and information from all the racetracks and tours involved in the ASA, visit www.ASA-Racing.com. ASA(TM), ASA Racing(TM) American Speed Association® are trademarks of Racing Speed Associates, LLC. ASA International, LLC or Racing Speed Associates, LLC are not related to or affiliated with ASA Late Model Series, LLC.

Heavyweights headed to Houston for 3rd Annual Texas Winter Nationals

Monday, November 30th, 2009

BAYTOWN, TEXAS – The best of the best dirt modified drivers in the Lone Star State and all across America are heading for the Houston Raceway Park this weekend for the 3rd Annual Texas Winter Nationals.

The event will be the highest-paying USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series event in the three-year existence of the popular dirt modified tour, with a possible $10,000 to win over three nights.

What’s more, the 2009 series champion will emerge from the weekend tripleheader that will wrap up the Hunt for the USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series Championship presented by Dirt Modified Magazine.

The main event will pay $2,000 to win on Thursday, with $3,000 earmarked for Friday’s winner and $5,000 to win on Saturday.

In addition to the touring open-wheeled titans of the USMTS, the racing card will feature Limited Modifieds racing for $500, $700 and $1,500 to win, respectively.

The battle for the crown finds the two winningest drivers in USMTS history atop the standings.

Jason Hughes of Westville, Okla., has been the most dominant driver this season. The defending series champ has nine USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series wins in 2009, plus another nine wins on the USMTS Casey’s General Stores National Tour where he finished third in points after pocketing $9,500 at the season-ending Featherlite Fall Jamboree at the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn.

However, it’s been the consistency of Fertile, Iowa’s Kelly Shryock that helped earn him his unprecedented ninth USMTS National Championship a little more than two months ago, and has him clinging to a nine-point lead over Hughes (317 to 308) coming into this weekend’s title tilt. While Hughes held the points lead coming into the Hunt for the USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series Championship, a win on Oct. 24 at the Gator Motorplex in Willis, Texas, put Shryock in the driver’s seat.

Between the two, the rival chassis builders have 239 career wins under the USMTS banner. Shryock, who was also the 2007 USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series titleist, leads Hughes in National Tour wins with 152 to 61, but Hughes holds the edge in Southern Series triumphs with 19 to Shryock’s 7.

Despite being the odds-on favorites, the two heavyweights are by no means locks for the crown. Jon Tesch of Watertown, S.D., has been sizzling hot late in the season and sits just 29 markers behind Hughes, while Texans Morgan Bagley and Rodney Sanders are just 4 and 12 points, respectively, back in fourth and fifth.

Bumper Jones, Scott Green, Chris Henigan, Dereck Ramirez and Shane Hebert round out the top-10 in points — all mathematically in contention for the crown.

3rd Annual Texas Winter Nationals, Dec. 3-5 at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.

Early entries are coming in at a record clip, according to event officials. Last year, a field of 95 different drivers competed over
the three days — the second-largest car count in USMTS history behind the Featherlite Fall Jamboree. Nearly 80 different Limited Mod drivers also competed in the 2008 event.

Paul White won the first-ever USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series event at Houston Raceway Park in 2007. Since then, trips to victory lane have also been made by Alan Mondus, Shryock, Hughes, Tommy Weder Jr., Johnny Bone Jr. and Zack VanderBeek, who captured last year’s finale at the 2nd Annual Texas Winter Nationals.

Local aces expected to compete include David Smith, Corey Neil, Kevin Battarbee, Joe Mayhew, Kenny Battarbee, Ed Wickham, Brent Nicholas, Brian Spindleman, Brian Sellier and many others.

An open practice will be held on Wednesday night, Dec. 2, with drivers in all classes invited to participate. Due to the high number of racecars expected for the weekend tripleheader, this will be the only night for hot laps. Gates will open at 4 p.m. and practice will be held from 6-10 p.m.

On Thursday and Friday, the pit gate opens at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 5 and racing begins at 6:30. On Saturday, pit gates open at 3 p.m., grandstands open at 4 and the first heat race hits the track at 6 p.m.

The Houston Raceway Park is a state-of-the-art 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval with a main grandstand seating capacity of 7,500 which includes fourteen VIP luxury suites and boasts a modern Musco Lighting system suitable for television productions.

Located in Baytown, Texas, the track is located east of Houston on I-10 to Exit 799, then 2.5 miles south on SH 99 (Grand Parkway), then 0.3 mile west on FM 565. Speedway entrance located at Gate 3.. For more information, call the track office at 281-383-RACE or visit www.houstonraceway.com online.

EVENT PAYOUTS:

Thursday– 1. $2000, 2. $1200, 3. $800, 4. $600, 5. $500, 6. $400, 7. $350, 8. $300, 9. $250, 10. $230, 11. $210, 12-26. $200, Tow $60.

Friday– 1. $3000, 2. $1800, 3. $1200, 4. $800, 5. $600, 6. $500, 7. $450, 8. $400, 9. $350, 10. $300, 11-26. $275, Tow $80.

Saturday – 1. $5000, 2. $2500, 3. $1700, 4. $1000, 5. $700, 6. $600, 7. $500, 8. $450, 9. $400, 10. $350, 11. $325, 12-26. $300, Tow $100.

Published payouts are for non-licensed drivers. There is no requirement to purchase a USMTS license to compete in any USMTS event. However, benefits enjoyed by licensed drivers includes higher event purses and bonus payouts, increased tow money, discounted entry fees, contingency awards, points funds, provisional starting spots, increased media recognition, a personalized driver profile page at www.usmts.com and more. The cost of a license is $200 for the USMTS Dirthead.com Southern Series.

Free grandstand tickets for Friday and Saturday night are available at Marshall Mobile Homes in Marshall, Day Motorsports in Tyler and at dozens of O’Reilly Auto Parts locations throughout Texas and Louisiana.

To learn more about the United States Modified Touring Series, call the headquarters at (515) 832-7944 or visit www.usmts.com online for the latest news and information from the USMTS.

Deer Creek Speedway 2009 Banquet

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Rochester MN-On Saturday night drivers, crews and fans all gathered at the Eagles Club in Rochester for the annual Drivers award banquet. A new setting for the 2009 racing season and a great venue was found for those attending. Some race videos were being shown on the big screen while the guests mingled during the social hour.

 

John Westgard and Todd Narveson the announcers for the event ran the mic’s on this night also and started the evening out announcing for everyone to take their seats as the first of many highlight reels with a wrecker highlight made by Sandy Brinkman one of the track photographers. The highlight reel showed some of the unfortunate things that happen to racers and racecars and also highlighted the great work and service that Arly’s Towing of St. Charles and Moody’s Towing of Rochester provide the track on every racing event. The second highlight reel was about the kids at the speedway. It highlighted the youth racers, the youth fans and the highly successful kids club that rolled out in 2009.

 

Steve Yaggy gave a great invocation before we were treated to a great meal by the Eagles club. During the meal a few contingency awards were handed out along with a few door prizes and some card raffles for great items.

 

After the wonderful meal it was time for the award celebration with the slinghshot division stepping up to the plate first. Justin Queensland again made a great video slideshow for each class of cars that was displayed before each class was brought up onto stage. In the Pee-Wee division Jackson Hale took home the title, Jim Chisholm in second with JT Wasmund third. Bailey Karau and Anna Schliesman rounded out the top five. Hale won ten feature events on his way to the title. In the junior division Jace Bunne took home his first title with Derek Clement in second, Lexi Schott was third with Dustin Sorensen and Nathan Bunne rounding out the top five. Jace Bunne won seven feature events for the Junior’s. In the Senior division Lucas Schott Took home the title with Parker Hale in second and Derrick Adams third. Mac Alberts and Sydney Alberts rounded out the top five. Season Highlights, Lucas Schott won 10 features leading to his third track title. Lucas also finished fourth in the national points for the
Slingshots.

 

Announcers Todd and John gave a great year end overview highlighting all of the classes and information and facts about some of the drivers for the season.

 

The Jim’s Car Care WISSOTA Street Stocks saw Corey Crapser of Eau Claire Wi win the track title. Crapser won eight races at the speedway on his way to the track title. Troy Voth second and Danny Hanson third. AJ Zvorak and Dan Bork rounded out the top five.

 

The Medford Monster Brandon Davis took home the Dirt Doctor Trucking WISSOTA Midwest Modified Track Title after winning ten feature events at the speedway. Jared Boumeester took home second with AJ Wiste in third. Chris Gilbertson and Jerry Young rounded out the top five.

 

History was made in the US ARMY WISSOTA Super Stock division with Jeff Brauer and Cole Queensland tying for the 2009 title at the speedway. Queensland won with eight feature wins while Brauer did the consistency route with two wins and stayed in the top five all seventeen nights of racing. Kevin Hager , Michael Hofer and Dave Solum rounded out the top five for the speedway.

 

The Altenburg Construction WISSOTA Late Models found Keith Foss on the top of the heap with his first ever track title. Foss won four times and finished in the top five eleven times. Justin Sass finished second with Mike Prochnow in third. Nick Herrick and Kevin Kuehn rounded out the top five.

 

Jason Cummins top the stellar field of the USRA Modifieds with seven wins in the 2009 campaign with Nate Wasmund taking home second ahead of Mike Sorensen, Greg Jensen and Joel Alberts.

 

Other highlights for the 2009 racing season saw 497 different drivers race at the speedway in 2009 down 4-cars from 2008. The season high car count was 129 cars and the low was 81. The average for all weekly shows was 99.6 which was a great number in the tough economy.

 

At the conclusion of the banquet some special awards were given out. Most Improved driver (one for each class) which went to Dan Bork in the WISSOTA Street Stocks, Chris GIlbertson in the midwest Modifieds, Dave Solum in the Super Stocks, Justin Sass in the Late Models, Bobby Swanson in the USRA Modifieds, Lexi Schott Senior Slinghsots, Derek Clement Junior Slingshots and Jim Chisholm in the Pee Wee Slingshots. The 2009 Hard Luck Awards went to Danny Hanson who destroyed two cars during his season at the speedway.

 

Some Sportsmanship Awards were handed out next with Joel Alberts taking home the Button Buck Speedway Parent of the year Award. Lucas Schott Button Buck Speedway sportsman of the year and Jason Cummins Deer Creek Speedway Sportsman of the year.

 

The final award of the night was the Speedway Rookie of the year with Joel Alberts, Michael Hofer and Tyler Peterson all receiving nominations. Hofer won the award with his performance in the WISSOTA Super Stock division.

 

In Closing I have to thank Todd Narveson who keeps these stats throughout the racing season and also the Queensland family for a wonderful facility to work at and they are a pleasure to work with each and every day.

WESTERN RPM WORKSHOP KICKS OFF SERIES

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

(Edgar, WI) Promoters and exhibitors from 39 states and three Canadian provinces gather December 3 in Reno for the first Workshop of the 37th Annual RPM Promoters Workshops Series produced by Racing Promotion Monthly. The Workshop, the 98th such event organized by the publication, this year with the theme “Brand Your Racing, Sell Your Brand,” features 32 sessions focused on reminding promoters to put their emphasis on marketing their own “brand” of short track racing. “Economic times such as these favor short tracks over other entertainment because short racing events are locally based and economical for families,” said Stewart Doty, editor of Racing Promotion Monthly. “We are coming off a year where generally short tracks outperformed main street businesses in their communities and we want to use that momentum now to help promoters recapture fan base lost during the last decade, and make new fans of families inclined to seek economical entertainment in their homes.”

Eleven supporting sponsors will back the series; a testament to the strength of the short track racing business despite a year plagued by bad weather. “We are gratified by the commitment demonstrated of the organizations that are underwriting our services to promoters,” said Stewart Doty, Chairman of the events.

Joining K&K Insurance Group, Inc. And Hoosier Racing Tire, which have supported the events for eighteen and seventeen years are eleven additional firms including one new this series. Advertising Edge, the Santee, California-based apparel maker joins
the Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno, host hotel of the Western Workshop; INEX, the international sanctioning group for Legends, Bandolero and Thunder Roadster racing; Musco Sports lighting, the leading supplier of stadium and track lighting; GM Performance Parts, source of GM crate engines for motorsports; Moffett Productions, producer of TV and radio advertising for race tracks; the World Racing Group, World of Outlaws and UMP DIRTcar; Simes Graphic Designs, designer advertising for race
tracks and sanctioning groups; Raceceiver racing communications and management software; Lucas Oil, the Lucas Oil Late Model Series, and the Lucas Oil Speedways; AMI Graphics, producer of stadium graphics, and the WISSOTA Promoters Association,
which sanctions more than 50 tracks in the upper Midwest and Canada.

The Thirty-Seventh Annual RPM Promoters Workshops Series begins December 3 at Reno and makes its return to Daytona Beach after five years away February 8-10, 2010. More than 1400 track operators, their employees, and industry leaders attended last
year’s Workshops. Racing Promotion Monthly, the idea newsletter for auto racing promoters (www.racingpromotionmonthly.net), and the Workshops are produced with the year-round support of K&K Insurance Group, Inc., Hoosier Racing Tire. More
information is available from RPM at 715-536-1067, or on the World Wide Web at www.rpmpromotersworkshops.com.

“Dirt from the Stands–A Gift Worth Sharing

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Well race fans, as we approach my favorite time of year, I once again take some time to relax, reflect and share my thoughts on 2009. As I sit before my keyboard and work on this column, I have a feeling of thankfulness for the opportunities that were presented to me during this past racing season. Since I became involved in dirt track racing through Prairie Dirt, without a doubt,
this year has been the most gratifying.

Blogging has been a fun and an easy way of presenting racing news and photos during the year and it is much easier to maintain than the old website and message board that I previously had. This form of media was brought to my attention by Marty Gold who is the host of The Great Canadian Talk Show on 92.9 KICK-FM in Winnipeg. References to local blogs during his radio show caught my attention. After seeing a few examples, I decided to change to blogging as well. The Great Canadian Talk Show can be heard from Monday to Friday at 4:00pm to 5:30pm online at http://www.kick.fm/ and Marty’s blog can be viewed at http://tgcts.blogspot.com/

In addition to the traditional dirt track racing websites, my writings also appeared on two blogs in 2009. The blogs are Manitoba Post at http://manitobapost.blogspot.com/ and SaskBlogs at http://www.saskblogs.ca/ .

Prairie Dirt Digest host Darren Pallen graciously invited me to be a guest on a Spring podcast. During our conversation, we touched on such topics as the importance of promotion and media relations at the grass roots level of racing as well as my more recent involvement with Sprint Car racing and the American Sprint Car Series.

Speaking of promotion, kudos to the new ownership and management of Red River Co-op Speedway who took big steps toward becoming more visible in the community. Some examples included a press conference at the Red River Co-op gas station located
in St. Norbert, which featured a number of cars from different classes run at the speedway. The conference was covered by both local newspapers, The Winnipeg Free Press and Winnipeg Sun as well as CTV television. Over the summer, news releases were also distributed and read over the airwaves at some of Winnipeg’s favorite radio stations including 92 CITI-FM, HOT*103 and 92.9 KICK-FM.

In June, I was presented with a new and exciting opportunity as Director of Media Relations for the Northern Lightning Sprint Association. The newest car class at Red River Co-op Speedway offered fast-paced action for Manitoba’s dirt track racing fans in 2009 and it was a privilege to be a part of the NLSA’s inaugural season. Race reporting is different than writing a column or an article. At times, this new opportunity presented it’s share of challenges, however, translating observations during a race into words was a valuable learning experience.

Another highlight of this season was Prairie Dirt Classic weekend. To have the opportunity to write about and promote the ASCS Canwest Sprint Car tour from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Swift Current, Saskatchewan was an amazing experience with many majestic memories that I will always cherish.

We each have different God-given gifts that are meant to be shared with others. Whether your talent is writing, speaking, photography or driving a race car, it is our responsibility to share these gifts with others. I have had the privilege and honor of knowing pro-active people who do. Not only do they enjoy what they do, but they love to share their passion with others and dare to make the world a better place. At the end of the day, isn’t that really what we all want? May we all learn to share our special gifts with others.

On behalf of the Cybulski family, I would like to extend heartfelt wishes of joy and love during this Christmas and holiday season.

God willing, I will see all of you at a dirt track again in 2010. Take care and good racing,

Greg Cybulski